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Before Cranking The AC Today, Expert Says Summer-ize Your Car

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Today’s unseasonably warm temperatures may have many people reaching for the thermostat and savvy car-owners getting their vehicles ready for the heat.

PECO says it’s ready for a sudden increase in air conditioner usage.

“We’re prepared for increased temperature and we’re prepared to have the energy there for our customers to make sure they can stay safe and cool,” says PECO spokeswoman Kathy Menendez. “It’s just happening a little bit earlier this year.”

You may already know that cold can be hard on a battery, but Jana Tidwell of AAA says the heat is, too.

“In fact, believe it or not, we typically have more calls for battery problems in July than in January because the heat is so damaging to the battery.”

Tidwell says car owners should summer-ize their car, just as they winterize it — checking fluids, tire pressure — and give it a good cleaning to prevent corrosion.

She offers some suggestions about what to check: “All of the fluids under the hood, rotating tires and checking tire pressure, checking the wiper blades and, most importantly, checking the battery.”

Tidwell says extended heat can actually prove more taxing on a car battery than extended cold.